College of Liberal Arts & Sciences ByLaws

CLAS Bylaws

University of Maine


April 1, 2009


As the largest and most diverse college within the University of Maine, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences provides an intellectual, scientific, and cultural center for the university and serves as a primary educational resource for the region and the state.  The college cultivates a well-informed citizenry by providing all undergraduate students broadly-based educational opportunities focusing on active and critical inquiry, appreciation of the diverse cultural and aesthetic heritage of humankind, recognition of the challenges facing the global society of today and understanding of the natural world of which we are a part.  The college honors the goal of a liberal arts education:  namely, the development of well-rounded, ethical individuals who have the knowledge and the communication and analytical skills that are the necessary foundation for productive professional and personal lives.  To this end, the college offers a program of studies that will build a solid foundation of knowledge in the liberal arts areas:  the humanities, the visual and performing arts, the social and behavioral sciences, mathematics and computer science, the physical sciences and a range of programs that transcend disciplinary boundaries.  The college is also the home to several institutes and centers that deepen our understanding of cultures in Maine and abroad.  Faculty are committed to active scholarship in teaching and research, providing graduate and undergraduate students with valuable opportunities to engage in research alongside of faculty and to participate in the creation of new knowledge.  The college provides advanced training and qualifications in a variety of fields, preparing graduate students for further research and professional training.  The college seeks to promote the values of excellence in education, free inquiry and expression, social responsibility, ethical behavior, appreciation of differences, and a joy of learning about the world around us.

University of Maine




These bylaws define the organization of the faculty of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS).


The faculty shall be the policy-making and legislative body of the college.


The faculty of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences shall consist of:

A.  The dean of the College; the associate dean(s) and/or assistant dean(s); all  full-time professors, associate professors, assistant professors, instructors, and lecturers appointed to any of the departments or divisions of instruction whether for teaching or research; directors and academic coordinators of institutes or centers within the college; members of the faculties of the other colleges of the University with cooperating or joint appointments in the college; and regular part-time faculty shall hereafter be designated “regular members,” and shall be entitled to debate and vote on all matters brought before the faculty.

B.  Part-time temporary faculty and visiting faculty appointed by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences shall have voice but no vote.


Meetings of the college faculty shall be held regularly to make or revise rules, policies, or practices governing the academic affairs of the college.  A faculty meeting may be called by the dean, by any three department chairs, or by petition of 15% of the faculty.

Reasonable means should be employed to notify all members of the faculty of the time, place, and subject matter of the meeting.

Legislative or policy matters may not be voted upon during the regular meeting in which they are introduced, unless they have appeared in the published agenda of that meeting.  However, if a measure does not appear on the published agenda for a meeting, and if action on it is required before a special meeting can be called, the affirmative vote of two-thirds of those members present and voting shall authorize action on the measure.


A quorum shall consist of twenty percent of the regular members of the faculty.  The dean shall determine the number of regular members of the faculty annually on September 1.


In its proceedings the faculty shall be governed by the latest edition of Robert=s Rules of Order, except in such cases as shall be otherwise provided.


Approval of minutes of the previous meeting.

Approval of the agenda.

Old business.

New business.

Reports of special committees.

Reports of standing committees.

Announcements and communications from the dean.

Questions from faculty.


The dean shall be the presiding officer at meetings of the faculty.  In the absence of the dean, or when the dean wishes to participate in the debate, the presiding officer shall be an associate dean or an assistant dean or a member of the faculty designated by the dean.  For each meeting, the dean may select a parliamentarian from the faculty.  A member of the staff of the dean’s office shall act as secretary.


At least seven days prior to any regular or special meeting of the faculty, the dean shall distribute an agenda for the meeting to each faculty member of the college.  Faculty members wishing to place an item on the agenda shall submit it to the dean’s office at least ten days in advance of the meeting.  The agenda shall contain the full text of any resolutions or bylaw changes to be voted on at the meeting.




  1. The Administrative Group

A.. The Administrative Group shall assist the dean in the administration of the affairs of the college and in the implementation of the policies established by the faculty.

B.  The Administrative Group shall consist of the dean as chair, the associate deans, the department chairs, school director(s), and the directors of the college’s programs.

  1. Academic Council

A. The Academic Council has the responsibility to oversee proposals affecting academic programs and academic policies of the college.  It receives new course, course modification, and course elimination proposals from departments and assesses the impact of such proposals on college programs and resources.  It coordinates program changes with the Undergraduate Program and Curriculum Committee (UPCC), to which it forwards proposals it approves (and in the case of major program changes, proposals it and the faculty approve). The Academic Council shall appoint one of its members to serve as the college’s representative on the UPCC.

In addition to discussing and approving course changes, the Academic Council works with minor faculty advisors to ensure regular review of minor programs of study where CLAS is the authorizing college.  In the case of minor program additions, eliminations, or non-trivial changes, the Academic Council forwards a recommendation to the associate provost for academic affairs.   Trivial changes may be forwarded by the Academic Council and the associate dean directly to the Office of Student Records.

The Council may be asked by the faculty or the dean to review or research academic policies and discuss curricular opportunities or problems in existing programs; in such cases, it may make recommendations to the college faculty for changes in college academic policies or for major program additions, changes, or eliminations.

B. All such business brought to the faculty shall also include recommendations from the Administrative Group.

C. The Academic Council shall consist of eleven members:  nine faculty members from CLAS broadly representative of academic units; one student; and an associate dean ex officio.

Membership and duration on the Council are determined as follows:

(1) The student member shall be selected by the Student Government for a one year term, with the selection made by the end of the spring semester for the following academic year. A given student can succeed herself or himself, but no student shall serve for more than two years.

Normally, department chairs do not serve on the Academic Council.

(2) Membership in Academic Council is based on a rotation of members from departments and programs.  Individual members serve for three years.  At the end of each successive year, departments with no members on the Academic Council will be asked to supply a candidate for committee membership. The entire CLAS faculty then elects three of those candidates to be a member.

(3) Vacancies resulting from an elected member’s inability to serve out a full term shall be filled with a Faculty member from that elected member’s unit or department according to procedures determined by that department or unit

D.  The Academic Council shall annually elect a chair from the eight voting faculty members.  The chair will run meetings and work with the associate dean and the college staff to prepare the agenda, monitor committee business, and communicate with faculty and departments about current business before the Academic Council.  An associate chair shall also be elected by the members to serve in the absence of the chair.

  1. Committee on Admissions, Advising, and Retention

a.   The Committee on Admissions, Advising, and Retention shall make recommendations to the dean regarding college  admissions policies; oversee student advising; monitor student retention; and consider other issues related to enrollment management.  Major issues will be brought to the college faculty for discussion

b.   The committee shall have six faculty members broadly representative of the college from CLAS degree-granting  departments and one from CLAS units that offer courses, to be appointed by the dean to staggered three year terms, and an associate dean, ex officio.

  1. Committee on Faculty Awards

The Standing Committee on Faculty Awards convenes in the fall semester to facilitate and coordinate the process of nominating outstanding faculty eligible for college and university awards.  It solicits nominations from department chairs and faculty for college awards and for such competitions as the Distinguished Maine Professor Award.  The committee may also have a role in college recognition ceremonies.

The committee will consist of six members elected by the faculty and chaired by a member elected by the committee for one year of service.  Appointments will be for three years. Nominations for vacated seats will be solicited annually in the spring semester for three-year appointments to begin in the fall.

  1. Committee on Interdisciplinary Studies

a.   The Committee on Interdisciplinary Studies shall promote the development of interdisciplinary and special programs and supervise such students’ proposals for the degree of B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies.

b.   The committee shall have six faculty members, broadly representative of the college, appointed by the dean to staggered three-year terms and an associate dean, ex officio


  1. Committee on International Affairs

a.   The Committee on International Affairs shall oversee and promote the development of programs in International Affairs.

b.   The committee is chaired by the International Affairs Coordinator who is chosen by the dean.  Each of the International Affairs units selects one committee member.  One student is selected by the coordinator.

  1. Dean’s Promotion and Tenure Advisory Committee
  1. The Dean’s Promotion and Tenure Advisory Committee reviews promotion and tenure applications and advises the dean on promotion and tenure decisions.
  1. The committee shall consist of six members of the Administrative Group, including one associate dean. The members are appointed by the dean to serve rotating two year terms.  Members are chosen to be broadly representative of the college.


  1. Committee on Technology
    1. The Technology Committee will serve in an advisory capacity to the Dean of the College, resource for the Faculty of the College, and as an advocacy resource for the College in technology issues at the University and System Level.
  1. The Committee will consist of six members appointed by the dean and chaired by a member elected by the committee for one year of service. Appointments will be for three years. Nominations for vacated seats will be solicited annually in the spring semester for three year appointments to begin in the fall.


Special committees may be created by the faculty or the dean for specific purposes as the need arises.


These by-laws may be amended at any meeting of the faculty by a two-thirds majority of all members present and voting, providing that the faculty of the college shall have been notified of the proposed amendment at the regular meeting of the college immediately preceding the meeting at which the amendment is to be considered for adoption.  The text of the amendment shall be included with the agenda of the meeting of the college at which consideration is to occur.


These by-laws shall be adopted upon the approval by a simple majority of the members of the faculty of the college voting by mail ballot, and shall take effect immediately.


1.    College representatives to the Faculty Senate shall be elected according to Article IV, Section 1.B and C of the Constitution of the University of Maine Faculty Senate:

2.    Time and manner of election

1. Each college shall elect its Senator(s) during the spring semester of each academic year.  Voting shall be by secret ballot and at least two faculty members shall be nominated for each vacancy a college has on the Senate.

2.   A special election, conducted by the applicable college at a faculty meeting or through a mail ballot, shall be held to fill an unexpired vacant position on the Faculty Senate.  The President of the Faculty Senate shall declare a position vacant if, in consultation with the faculty Senator, the President determines that the Senator is unable to continue to fulfill his/her responsibilities.  Senators have the responsibility to inform the Senate President of any circumstances that may preclude their continued participation in Senate activities.

3.   In order to be eligible to serve on the Senate, a faculty member must have tenure status or have been a member of the faculty of the University of Maine for at least two years.

3.    Term of office

1.   The term of office of a Senator shall be three years, beginning July 1 following election, serving for not more than two successive terms.

2.   If a college is represented by more than two Senators, their term of office shall be so fixed that approximately one-third of the Senators shall be elected each year.

4.    Election shall be by ballot distributed to regular members of the faculty.  All candidates will be listed on the ballot and voters may vote for up to the number of upcoming vacancies.  The number of votes received by each candidate will be tallied and vacancies will be filled in order of the total votes received until all available Faculty Senate seats are filled.

5.    No more than two members from any one department shall serve concurrently on the Faculty Senate.

Reviewed by CLAS Administrative Group, 1/14/97

Reviewed by CLAS Faculty, 2/25/97

Reviewed by CLAS Administrative Group, 3/18/97

Revised by the Committee on Bylaws, 3/20/97

Reviewed and revised by CLAS Faculty, 4/1/97

APPROVED by CLAS Faculty, 4/25/97

AMENDED by CLAS Administrative Group and CLAS Faculty on 10/5/99 and 10/6/99 respectively to include Committee on International Affairs.

AMENDED by CLAS Administrative Group and CLAS Faculty on 3/28/00 and 4/12/00 respectively to include Committee on Faculty Awards.

AMENDED and approved by CLAS Faculty, 4/1/09